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Old 18th August 2011, 18:45   #1
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Default Mahindra Thar Crde - home at last.

Not sure if I can call it an ownership experience, as its just 700 kms I've driven so far. But I could use all the help and ideas from the members here to improve the vehicle in all aspects of offroading as well as touring.

My affection for jeeps began way back in 1989 (I was 9 yrs old) when my dad brought a brand new red CJ340 from the Mahindra showroom in worli (Mumbai). He had gone to book a MM540 but saw this standing there, just newly launched. I was fascinated by it - it looked like a toy.
Plus it had 2 extra gear levers (2 separate ones for 4wd H/ L) - I could boast to my friends about the extra gears.
It was then used as a daily drive for our family for the next 12 years. Umpteen trips to Bangalore, Mysore, Pune, Mahableshwar etc. I wonder how we managed it in the sweltering Mumbai heat and rains. No AC, no PS, no safety, no complaints from mom too.

I started driving it when I turned 18 and used to take it to my engineering college in Airoli-Thane(township near Mumbai) daily. Some basic offroading was also attempted near the Ghodbunder road which connects Mumbai to Thane, which in those years was like an off road trail.
Then suddenly one day tragedy struck. Dad decided to sell the jeep since he was feeling too old to drive and maintain the vehicle. No amount of convincing could change his mind. Before I realised it the jeep was sold. He said to me "Son, someday you must buy your own jeep". I wanted to do exactly that 10 years later. But having travelled so much in the CJ340 I knew that in today's age of pollution and global warming it would be impossible to use the conventional Mahindra as a offroader + daily drive (especially since my wife would be a co-passenger now). I purchased an i10 last year in feb but couldnt get over the feeling of wanting to own and drive a jeep.
Somewhere at the begining of the year I heard about the thar. I approached a couple of showrooms for test drives but none had a TD vehicle available. Finally after 4 long months both the showrooms sent their vehicles for TD. I drove them and no doubt was amazed at the ride. Meanwhile some of my friends and forums I went through suggested building a jeep from scratch. But knowing myself and the pain that would go with it I decided best to go in for a new one. I din't have the know how and also din't know which mechanic to trust for the rebuild. I chose the crde, as I needed something that I could use for the occasional offroading as well as long trips.

So finally this year sometime at the end of June I paid the booking amount of 20k to NBS International (Charni Rd). Initialy was told that delivery would take 5-6 weeks but he called up in 3 days to say that the vehicle has come to the yard and can be delivered as soon as full payment is made. I made the rest of the payment in the 1st week of July and was promised delivery by the 16th of July. I couldnt collect it that weekend because I had attended the AKC and EXAMMS during that weekend. (I was a co-passenger in davidsmm550's vehicle).
Delivery was taken next weekend. We bargained on the accessories and he also gave us a discount on the on road price.
Total on road price - 7,15,000 approx
Accessories - Roll bar (which I realised I could have probably got a better one made outside), Head Light/Tail Light grilles, insect mesh, mats, gear shrouds - 12,000 approx.

I have been using it as a daily drive since then.
Some niggling issues faced so far
  • Rust spots at some places on delivery day itself
  • We were greeted with squeaky noises coming from the front as soon as we left the showroom. Assuming it to be from the suspension trying to settle itself I ignored it. But it appear to go away even after a week. That's when I got a bit alarmed and tried to investigate. It turned out to be a metal to metal abrasion near the bonnet latch which was churning out the sounds. A bit of grease resolved it.
  • The driver's side door latch knob broke of when I tried to rest my elbow on the window.
  • The bulb behind the fuel indicator on the dashboard doesnt seem to work.
  • 4WD indicators (separate ones for H/L) dont work.
  • Roll bar is raw metal under the portion covered with leather and is already catching junk. Only the top portion is steel.
  • Handbrake doesnt work on even moderately steep slopes. Has anyone else faced this issue? Shot off a mail to Mahindra on noticing this.
Apart from these I am quite happy with it, though it's too early to comment. The staggered steering, cramped wiper knob, fluttering canvas etc are not big issues for me. The engine performance, handling, suspension etc has already been discussed in other threads by experts.

The canvas seems to be quite effective in the rains. So far no water or moisture has seeped in.
I did away with the long footboards as it was getting too mucky and dirty in the rains. Getting in and out is not much of a problem for me anyway.
  • A few things on my to do list for which I could use some tips -
    I dont plan offroading till the engine break in - 10k kms minimum I guess. I might need at least AT tyres after that. Which tyres do the gurus recommend, and do you suggest I change them right away (approx 700 kms on the odo so far) for the best deal? Are they equally effective on tarmac?
  • The catalytic converter seems to be dangerously sticking out at the bottom. Do I need to provide some protection for that?
  • Any ideas for what can be done with the rear benches. I own 2 dogs and would like to make something comfortable for them on long drives and also for rear passengers. Something like 2 forward facing seats which can be completely folded and pushed to the side in case the dogs hop in.
  • AC would be next, but I think I can pull through the monsoons, October heat and then the Winters. So would think about it only sometime next year Feb.
I got to see some brilliantly done up jeeps at this years AKC/ EXAMMS. The dedication and passion of offroading experts like Soumya, Gogi, Kunal, Tejas, Devang, James etc is truly inspiring. I guess I would be needing some basic stuff like snorkels, rock sliders, tow ropes etc next. But still quite some time for that. In time for the next AKC/ EXAMMS probably.

Posting some pics below. Mine on the extreme right.

Regards,
Nitin
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Old 18th August 2011, 23:13   #2
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar Crde - home at last.

Wow Nitin, first post and which is on Thar CRDe 4x4 review Gr8

Firstly welcome to Team BHP and Congratulation on your Thar.

Your jeep is looking awesome.

Hope to see you sometime, I am fig fan of Thar CRDe 4x4.


Thanks,
Vishal.
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Old 19th August 2011, 00:07   #3
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@Nitin nice looking Thar , the all time favorite color . Congrats and enjoy the Jeep to the fullest . Check BD's thread on the AC installation from the dealer , one of the team bhp guys from Bangalore has got it done .
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-te...ndra-thar.html (Advice on fitting an air-conditioner in the Mahindra Thar)
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Old 19th August 2011, 00:22   #4
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar Crde - home at last.

Firstly, welcome to T-BHP!

Congratulations on getting the Thar, looks great in the rocky beige, must be its hottest selling color. The road presence of a Jeep is unmatched! Enjoy the Thar to the fullest. Here's wishing you a trouble free ownership (hope the niggles are corrected soon).

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitin_80 View Post
Some niggling issues faced so far
  • Rust spots at some places on delivery day itself
  • We were greeted with squeaky noises coming from the front as soon as we left the showroom. Assuming it to be from the suspension trying to settle itself I ignored it. But it appear to go away even after a week. That's when I got a bit alarmed and tried to investigate. It turned out to be a metal to metal abrasion near the bonnet latch which was churning out the sounds. A bit of grease resolved it.
  • The driver's side door latch knob broke of when I tried to rest my elbow on the window.
  • The bulb behind the fuel indicator on the dashboard doesnt seem to work.
  • 4WD indicators (separate ones for H/L) dont work.
  • Roll bar is raw metal under the portion covered with leather and is already catching junk. Only the top portion is steel.
  • Handbrake doesnt work on even moderately steep slopes. Has anyone else faced this issue? Shot off a mail to Mahindra on noticing this.
About the niggles, some of them are pretty serious! Please get them checked with the ASC asap.
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Old 19th August 2011, 10:13   #5
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar Crde - home at last.

Nitin,
Congrats on your Thar and very warm welcome to Team-BHP.
Each new purchase of Thar is only adding to my passion and dragging me to own it, irrespective of all the niggles faced by many owners.
I feel any Indian origin OEM product is not niggle free. Hope this changes in the near future.
Pls post some interior pics of the rear seat modification after getting it done. I am looking forward for the same. Front facing back seat.
Don't like the benches at all.
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Old 19th August 2011, 10:47   #6
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar Crde - home at last.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Firstly, welcome to T-BHP!

Congratulations on getting the Thar, looks great in the rocky beige, must be its hottest selling color. The road presence of a Jeep is unmatched! Enjoy the Thar to the fullest. Here's wishing you a trouble free ownership (hope the niggles are corrected soon).

About the niggles, some of them are pretty serious! Please get them checked with the ASC asap.
Congrats Nitin, I can vouch that it is a wonderful vehicle. For resolving the squeaky noises, gently rock the vehicle with the engine switched off, in most of the cases you can start localizing the problem and fix it yourself. Couple of places where it comes from

1) Bonnet metal (you figured it out)
2) Hood Latches (disengage them and you would notice that some sounds go away). No amount of Oil or WD40 cures this. Order a good quality latch from Amazon. I drive my vehicle with latches open to avoid this irritating squeak. Dealership is helpless.
3) Contact between the front cabin hardboard and metal areas it rests on. (some double side sticker does the trick)
4) Over a period of time, the metal plate attaching the B Pillar beam and Roll cage could get loose and start clattering. tighten it once in a while.

Cheers
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Old 19th August 2011, 12:11   #7
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar Crde - home at last.

All the best my friend !!! it was your pop's RED CJ340 that got me also hooked to Jeeps since i was a kid .
Those are not niggling issues they are put there for a reason by MM so you have to get down and dirty with your jeep.
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Old 19th August 2011, 14:22   #8
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar Crde - home at last.

Congrats Dude. You know that I have been with you on the hunt for the Thar and I so desperately want to have this jeep but I can't compromise my Sedan. Someday I'll have the dough to keep the Thar with my Linea. I am there to get dirty to fix any niggling issues which are DIY in nature. For others if you need to get to the service center and give them a good hearing, you know you can call me.

Enjoy the Thar.
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Old 19th August 2011, 14:40   #9
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar Crde - home at last.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fortuner71 View Post
@Nitin nice looking Thar , the all time favorite color . Congrats and enjoy the Jeep to the fullest . Check BD's thread on the AC installation from the dealer , one of the team bhp guys from Bangalore has got it done .
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-te...ndra-thar.html (Advice on fitting an air-conditioner in the Mahindra Thar)

Thanks, got hold of that thread. But I can still see a lot of uncertainity on the fittments plus price seems to high - 65k as someone has mentioned. Will just wait and hope something reasonable comes up before the next summer.
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Old 19th August 2011, 15:11   #10
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar Crde - home at last.

Nice start. Welcome to TBHP.
You plan to use this as your daily ride as well? What about the i10? Any plus or minus in comparison to using that as your daily vehicle?
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Old 19th August 2011, 15:50   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Nice start. Welcome to TBHP.
You plan to use this as your daily ride as well? What about the i10? Any plus or minus in comparison to using that as your daily vehicle?
Yes, I am and plan to continue using this as my daily drive. i10 is parked in my society right now along with another slightly neglected RE350 which was my daily ride earlier. I use the i10 for small weekend trips to malls, shopping etc. My dad has offered to adopt the i10 if he sells of his corrolla. But stiff resistance from my wife has prevented any of this from happening. She is too fond of the i10. So I just have to wait and plot something.
As for the plus & minus - more +es for the thar so far
-Stress free driving in traffic (I dont have to worry too much about the rickshaw or any other vehicle trying to jut in or scrap past. They avoid me anyway and let me pass.
Again the pothole ridden roads dont pose too much of a trouble.
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Old 19th August 2011, 16:33   #12
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar Crde - home at last.

On the flipside, lack of ac and insulation in the jeep, but not an issue for me. I have used a CJ340 as a daily drive for 3 years...
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Old 19th August 2011, 18:17   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RajBajwa View Post
Congrats Dude. You know that I have been with you on the hunt for the Thar and I so desperately want to have this jeep but I can't compromise my Sedan. Someday I'll have the dough to keep the Thar with my Linea. I am there to get dirty to fix any niggling issues which are DIY in nature. For others if you need to get to the service center and give them a good hearing, you know you can call me.

Enjoy the Thar.
Thanks man..Yes, how can I forget, you were the first to tell me about the thar. About giving them a hearing, yes there's a good chance next weekend. The mahindra guys just called me up and have requested me to take the vehicle to their workshop in Reay Road. They have promised to look into the issues I had mentioned in the mail I fired to them.
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Old 19th August 2011, 18:24   #14
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar Crde - home at last.

Some pics of the rust and dents below, at the showroom during delivery. The last one's me checking if at least the vehicle papers are without any issues.
Attached Thumbnails
Mahindra Thar Crde - home at last.-rust1.jpg  

Mahindra Thar Crde - home at last.-rust2.jpg  

Mahindra Thar Crde - home at last.-dent2.jpg  

Mahindra Thar Crde - home at last.-thar_delivery.jpg  

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Old 19th August 2011, 18:36   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davids4x4mm550 View Post
All the best my friend !!! it was your pop's RED CJ340 that got me also hooked to Jeeps since i was a kid .
Those are not niggling issues they are put there for a reason by MM so you have to get down and dirty with your jeep.
Yup, and it was your MM550 that tilted me more towards the thar. Guess you returned the favour.
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